NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (or Nights: Journey of Dreams) is a video game for the Wii console. It is the 2007 sequel to the 1996 Sega Saturn title NiGHTS into Dreams. Sonic Team USA developed the game, with Takashi Iizuka, the head of the US branch and one of the designers of the original, as a producer, director, and lead game designer. Like the original, the game is set in the dream world of Nightopia, which is under threat from nightmare beings called Nightmaren, and the gameplay is based around the flight of a jester-like rebel Nightmaren named NiGHTS.
Like the previous game, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is set in the dream world of Nightopia, which is under threat from nightmare beings called Nightmaren. William Taylor and Helen Cartwright are the names of the new children. William is an aspiring soccer player, and Helen is studying to be a violinist. They're both from a town called Bellbridge, which resembles London from the story of Peter Pan, with a giant clock tower and bridge. In fact, the whole game heavily borrows elements from all versions of the Barrie tale, whereas the original only lightly borrowed elements from the tale.
Will and Helen's stories are unique to both of them, though they share similar a structure at some points and some of the same cut scenes appear in both stories, showing both characters, hinting they occur at the same time. While NiGHTS into Dreams was about conquering one's fears, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is about the importance of family and trust in your friends.
Warning, the Next part reveals some spoiler of the game
Last part of the game change, depending on if the player has at least C Rank or higher in all missions.
With C Rank or less
Afterward, the stairs to the final Ideya appear. Helen ascends them with NiGHTS first. As Will follows, Wizeman appears and grabs Helen and NiGHTS, taking them into the black sea of Nightmare. Will jumps in after them. The two children use their Red Ideya to fly through the city. During a blackout, Helen panics due to her fear of darkness, and loses her red Ideya, beginning to plummet to the ground. Will saves her, restoring her Ideya, and together they fly to where NiGHTS is being held, prisoner. After unlocking NiGHTS, Wizeman appears to vanish them. After the battle, Wizeman says he'll be back as long as darkness and despair inhabit in human's hearts, and Will and Helen wake up.
With C Rank or higher
Will/Helen go up the stairs with NiGHTS, NiGHTS sees the Ideya of hope, but then there's an earthquake and Wizeman appears, leaving NiGHTS unconscious, he grabs NiGHTS along with the last Ideya and takes them into the dark sea of Nightmare, Will/Helen jumps in to follow them. During a blackout, Helen panics due to her fear of darkness, and loses her red Ideya, beginning to plummet to the ground. Will saves her, restoring her Ideya, and together they fly to where NiGHTS is being held, prisoner. After unlocking NiGHTS, Reala appears. NiGHTS challenges him to battle, which NiGHTS wins. Suddenly the last Ideya appears, but Wizeman too, revealing that defeating him will destroy all his creations- including NiGHTS. After the battle, the Yellow Ideya is returned to the two children, just before NiGHTS disappears with a graceful bow in a cloud of white light.
The two children wake up crying, thanking NiGHTS.
Will is then seen playing in a tied soccer match in the latter half. The ball comes to him, and he is blocked, with all teammates being blocked by other players. Reminiscing his time in Nightopia, he jumps up and scores the winning goal. He sees his father in the crowd, cheering him on, and begins laughing with his team.
Helen is seen running towards the town concert hall, where her mother is waiting. Inside, they flawlessly play their recital, and during the subsequent standing ovation, Helen spots her friends in the crowd.
That night, Helen guides her mother to the outside concert theater, which is empty and begins to play Dreams Dreams on the violin. Meanwhile, Will is walking down a street with his father and friends, kicking his ball. He hits the ball and it falls down some stairs, while Will runs after it. Stopping to pick it up, he hears Helen playing and begins to follow the music. A blackout suddenly happens, and Helen screams, thinking Wizeman has returned, closing her eyes and curling into a ball. When the lights come back on and she opens her eyes, Will is standing there with his hand out. Helen reaches out to take it, and it begins to snow. The two laughs and the screen fades out.
Late that night, while the two are asleep, the camera flies to the top of Bellbridge spire, where NiGHTS is seen playing their invisible flute, revealing that they survived.
Much like in the first game, the primary means of gameplay in this game is to glide, spiral and loop through a variety of worlds, blasting through rings and gathering orbs. Special powerups can transform Nights' form into a dolphin, a dragon, or even a rocket, to reach areas not accessible otherwise. There are also platform game-like stages where the player controls one of the children. There is a variety of gameplay styles, and NiGHTS is not playable in every level.
The game features four different control options, featuring the Wii Remote as a standalone controller, the Wii Remote in combination with the Nunchuk, the Nintendo GameCube controller, and the Classic Controller.
The game features a deeper version of the level structure from into Dreams... The player starts by choosing one of two dreamers, the game's main characters, and from a central hub area called the Dream Gate, they choose one of five worlds they wish to play. When a player first enters a new world, they are automatically given the world's first mission. After successfully completing this mission and beating the world's boss, more missions are opened up, which can now be chosen when the player again enters this world.
Worlds have some similar missions:
In the first one, the player starts out as one of the dreamers. While the game's main objective is playing with NiGHTS, the dreamers can also explore the world, albeit with only a limited amount of time. By opening up treasure chests, players can extend the time with a dreamer. When the player wants to start playing the level with NiGHTS, they need to find them and climb into NiGHTS' cage, causing the dreamer to dualize with NiGHTS. The mission ends with a boss battle.
Another similar mission is the pursuit of Octopaw, where the player must make a high number of links to have a higher rank. Mission end after five tries to create higher links.
Last mission is always a battle against the boss, but this time is harder than last time.
Whereas in NiGHTS into Dreams, where all 4 missing Ideya were retrieved in each level, the missing Ideya this time are retrieved over the course of the entire game.
The game uses features from the Forecast Channel on the Wii, changing the in-game weather conditions according to real-world's weather conditions in the My Dreamworld.
The gameplay involves the use of "persona masks", masks that transform NiGHTS and give them new abilities. With some of the persona masks, NiGHTS is able to transform into the mask's form with the dreamer, while some are used without the dreamer.
When first unlocked, persona masks can be found in the homeworld area called Dream Gate. To become accustomed to the new forms, tutorials are set up within the Dream Gate area, just like when first starting the game and getting used to the way NiGHTS flies. A small lake area is located on the outer perimeters for testing Dolphin NiGHTS.
The Persona masks are as follows:
- Dragon Mask: to allow NiGHTS to withstand any winds.
- Dolphin Mask: transforming NiGHTS into a dolphin allowing them to swim.
- Rocket Mask: gives NiGHTS the ability to reach high speeds.
NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams has two multiplayer modes: Battle Mode and Speed Mode. The multiplayer modes, just like the single-player mode, can be controlled either with the Wii Remote controller held vertically or turned on its side, Wii Remote and Nunchuk, Classic Controller, or with the GameCube controller. The Speed mode is playable online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
The Speed mode can be played through 3 modes:
- Nearby Friend with another player on the same console.
- With a Friend Far Away for online play with friends.
- Random Character in the World for a random challenge online with anyone in the world.
Just as in the prequel, the game will also keep track of high-scores in the single-player levels and publish them via an online scoreboard. When the player selects one of the two stories, the game will automatically update their scores and show their online rank. Unfortunately, this, along with all other online features are no longer available, since Nintendo shut off internet support for most Wii and Nintendo DSi games and apps on June 28th, 2013.
From NiGHTS into Dreams..., the Artificial Life (A-Life) feature returns in NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, also known as "My Dream". This is a feature much like Sonic Adventure's Chao Garden in which the player can capture, raise and combine the inhabitants of the world of Nightopia and Nightmaren in their self-developed sandbox environment.
The Nightopians outside of the My Dreamworld act with similar artificial intelligence as they did in the first game: they will follow the children if they are fed blue chips, and they will panic if Nightmarens (besides NiGHTS) are nearby.
In addition to this, in the Nightopias, one can make a creation called a Mepian if they somehow manage to make a Nightmaren make physical contact with a Nightopian, just like in the previous game. One can do this via sucking both a Nightmaren and a Nightopian into the same paraloop, which will produce an immediate Mepian or by throwing a Nightmaren in such a way that the sphere that the Nightmaren turns into after being thrown bumps into a Nightopian, which will produce a Mepian Egg. In the rarest case, the ball a Nightmaren turns into after being thrown will become a Mepian egg on its own after it comes to a stop.
The My Dreamworld receives inhabitants when Nightopians, Nightopian eggs, Nightmarens, Mepians, and Mepian eggs are sucked into one of Nights' paraloops. Nightopians and Mepians can be taken care of. They can be picked up, carried about, fed blue chips (which they must be in order to survive), and played with. Nightmarens, on the other hand, will eat Nightopians and Mepians if they aren't defeated with blue chips first.
The weather information received from the Wii Weather Channel will also influence the weather in My Dream. There will also be special content made available during special days, such as the holiday season.
Hidden away across every stage are a total of 60 "Dream Drops". When one is found, the dream drop is sent to the Dream Gate fountain, which displays the current number of dream drops collected. when all 60 dream drops are collected, and the fountain is completely filled, the player will be able to play as Claris Sinclair and Elliot Edwards from NiGHTS into Dreams... if they jump in it (If Helen jumps in it Claris appears, if William jumps in it Elliot appears). However, they have no separate storylines and endings, as Claris and Elliot are not included as playable characters in the game.
- Julissa Aguirre - NiGHTS
- Riley O'Flynn - William Taylor
- Victoria Ashby - Helen Cartwright
- Casey Robertson - Reala
- Jeff Kramer - Owl, Will's father
- Roger L. Jackson - Wizeman the Wicked
- Michele Johnston - Helen's mother
Takashi Iizuka first started working on Nights 2 in November 2005, after Shadow the Hedgehog was shipped. In May 2006 the actual development started.
Demand for a sequel to NiGHTS into Dreams... has been strong for many years. A game with the working title "Air Nights" was in development to use a tilt sensor in the Saturn analog pad, and development later moved to the Sega Dreamcast for a time, but eventually the project was discontinued and ended up being a mere prototype for the motion-sensing technology that was later used in Sonic Team's Samba De Amigo.
“I know a lot of people love it and want us to make a sequel, but for us, it's a really important game. Like the way Spielberg likes E.T. so much he won't remake it, I don't want to make other NiGHTS."
In an interview in the November 2003 edition of Edge, he was asked whether he would like to develop another Nights game:
“I see Nights as a license. When dealing with such a license from the past it is quite a lot of work, but I would like to use Nights to reinforce Sega's identity, yes.”
In April 2006 the Japanese game magazine Famitsu published a rumor implying that a Nights sequel was in development for the Wii. Rumors regarding a Wii version continued to appear during 2006.
Spring 2007 Confirmation
In March 2007, Sega.com ran a poll titled "Which Sega game/character would you like to see return?" featuring Nights as one of the options (along with Streets of Rage, Samba de Amigo, Virtua Cop and Flicky).
Around the same time as the poll, Official Nintendo Magazine stated that an upcoming game for the Wii would be revealed in its May 2007 issue. It printed the words "a classic game makes a long-overdue return" underneath an image of a constellation which accurately follows the outline of the Nights logo. This caused further speculation on the future of the franchise and, due to the issue's proximity to April Fools' Day, the validity of the report. Official Nintendo Magazine stated that the teaser was valid, but also made clear they never stated it was a Nights sequel.
On the cover of the April 2007 issue of Swedish magazine Gamereactor, a mildly redesigned Nights is shown, along with the text "Sega's dream-demon returns." The cover has since been replaced with an outline of Nights, with Gamereactor commenting that Sega had contacted them about it. However, the original cover has spread onto the internet.
In the April issue of the Portuguese magazine Maxi Consolas, the first images of the game were published, finally confirming the existence of a new Nights game for the Wii. Scans of the article were posted onto Jeux-France. The article reports that Sega will officially announce the game in early April.
In April 2007, Famitsu announced the name Nights: Journey of Dreams.
- This is the first NiGHTS game to have voice acting.
Overall reviews have been mixed, averaging at around 74%. Nintendo Power, reviewing the game in their January 2008 issue, gave the game a 9 out of 10, saying "Director Takashi Iizuka and his team have hit one out of the park, delivering a follow-up in every way worthy of its legendary predecessor. Electronic Gaming Monthly also reviewed the game in their January 2008 issue, giving the game a 7.0, 7.5, and 7.0, averaging out to a score of 7.2/10. They praised the game for its appealing art style, pleasant soundtrack, and its faithfulness to the original game, but criticized it for the 3D platforming segments, confusing boss battles, and saying the Wii remote controls don't work nearly as well as the standard control scheme. IGN scored the game a 6.5/10, saying it was only for die-hard fans of the original. GameSpot scored the game a 7.5/10, and Game Zone gave it 8/10. Famitsu gave the game an overall score of 29 out of 40, praising it for its heartwarming story and good replay value, but criticizing sometimes bothersome controls.